BioShock: The Collection [official site] on PC is good-lookin’ but, it’s fair to say, A Bit Dicky, pulling off the impressively bungled trick of both recreating some of BioShock’s original issues and throwing a clutch of new ones into the mix too. Take yer pick from enforced mouse-smoothing, no 5.1 sound, messed-up 21:9 support, limited FOV, no graphics settings outside of antialiasing, anistropic filtering, resolution, vysnc and a clutch of crashes. Many of these, though not the crashes, can be resolved via ini file editing (a guide to that is here), but in this, the third consecutive Year Of Luigi, we should not be expected to dirty our hands so.
The good news is that 2K are planning to grab a five-iron and bludgeon most of the major problems into submission. The bad news is that it doesn’t look like we can expect a full settings menu any time soon.
Here’s what 2K are “looking to address” in the near future, as announced via Steam:
- General Mouse Fixes, including better Mouse Smoothing, Sensitivity and Acceleration Options in BioShock;
- Additional Speaker Mode Options in Audio Settings in BioShock;
- Improved FoV Slider Options in BioShock, BioShock 2 and Minerva’s Den;
- Support for 21:9 display ratios in BioShock, BioShock 2 and Minerva’s Den;
- General stability improvement to reduce instances of game crashes.
Presuming they track down all the major crash-causers, that’s pretty much hitting every major grievance. The critical exception is the option to manually fiddle with stuff like shadow and texture quality. However, I might give ’em a pass on this, as the inherent age of BioShock 1&2 means that a majority of contemporary gaming systems should be able to run ’em maxed out. The remastering mostly consists of new textures, not reworking the fundamentals.
Nonetheless, it’s a bummer to lack options for e.g. advanced anti-aliasing on high-end systems, and for manually dropping bits and bobs to get the games running sweet on e.g. puny integrated graphics on a laptop. (Though I guess you could play the original versions instead in the latter case?)
Good to know the main issues aren’t just being shrugged off, anyway. It’s a damn shame that two of the most compelling shooters of the last decade didn’t get the full-on love and cuddles that the bluster might have suggested, but hopefully they can live a little longer yet.